Kombucha For Beginners

Chances are if you have not tried Kombucha, you have at least heard of it.  Having been around for centuries, it first made an appearance in US health food stores sometime during the 1990’s. Gaining popularity, probably due to the reported health benefits, Kombucha can now be found at most local grocery stores. 

What is it?

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), black tea, and sugar.  The SCOBY consumes 90% of the sugar during the fermentation process which usually takes between 7 to 12 days. Once the process is complete you are left with a tangy beverage full on vitamins, beneficial acids, probiotics, and enzymes known for the positive effects they have on your health.

Benefits of Kombucha

While there have been numerous benefits reported on the nutrient dense beverage, from better digestion to arthritis prevention, it is important to note that there is still much research to be done. Here are some of the most common benefits believed to be found in Kombucha in layman’s terms

Detoxification

Full of enzymes and bacterial acids, it is believed that Kombucha can aid in the bodies natural detoxification process. Gluconic Acid found in Kombucha binds to toxins and helps to expel them from the body. Glucaric Acid, produced during the fermentation process  may help boost the efficiency of the liver.

Aids in Digestion

Good gut bacteria can be depleted over time by such factors as alcohol use, antibiotics and stress. Kombucha helps replenish some of this good bacteria that aids the body in the digestive process.

Boosts the immune system

Probiotics found in Kombucha help cultivate a healthy gut and strengthen our defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illness. It is also a natural source of antioxidants which can help detoxify the body and help to protect against diseases.

Joint Health

Glucosamine, which is another compound found in Kombucha, enhances hyaluronic acid production, which helps to protect cartilage and reduce arthritic pain.

While it’s too soon to be declared a cure all, it definitely seems like a great addition to your diet.

Steps to Make Your Own Kombucha

While it can be found at your local market, it may be beneficial to try your hand at making your own. Here is an easy process:

Utensils

  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Sugar
  • Black tea
  • SCOBY ( available from many online sources. I got mine from poseymom.com)

Directions

  1. Gather sterilized equipment
  2. Make  1 gallon black tea
  3. Add 1 cup sugar
  4. Pour brewed tea into glass jar once it has cooled
  5. Add 1 cup brewed raw Kombucha (which usually comes with Scoby
  6. Place Scoby on top, ideally it will float on top to seal air, but it will grow over the course of fermentation
  7. Cover with cheese cloth and store in a warm dark place
  8. Allow to ferment for 7 to 12 days.
  9. Remove Scoby and 1 Cup of Kombucha. The original Scoby (mother) will have formed a second scoby (baby). Use the baby along with the cup of Kombuca to start a new batch.

Some people flavor with juice and added fruit.  If you choose to do this it would be 1 part juice to 4 parts Kombucha. You will then need to cover and let sit for 1 to 2 more days.

Precautions

As with any fermented product those pregnant, or nursing and those with health conditions should check with their doctor before consuming.

If made incorrectly, Kombucha can contain harmul bacteria that could be dangerous. This is rare, but caution should be taken when brewing at home.

Some bloating may occur do to the presence of probiotics and carbonation.

Is Complaining Bad For You?

 

 

Proverbs 17:22 – A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 

Is Complaining Bad For You

 

We’ve all been guilty of it!  Things don’t seem to be going the way we think they should.  We think, I just need to ‘vent’ and that will make me feel better.  Certain subjects have even become the social norm to complain about in our circles. Among the most popular subjects for the social complaint sessions: politics, the weather, work, finances, and other people.

The question is, are there any benefits to complaining?  Quite the contrary, complaining has negative effects not only on our attitude, but on our relationships, as well as our health.

Four Negative Effects Of Complaining

Complaining actually rewires our way of thinking, making it easier to complain in the future. In other words, you are setting yourself up to become a habitually negative and critical person.

Complaining can raise your cortisol levels. Excessive cortisol leads to increased blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as weight gain. Over time, this can weaken the immune system.

Negativity spreads. As you complain, you are spreading discontent to those around you. Vice versa, as you surround yourself with negative people, you find yourself in a toxic environment. The old adage is true, misery loves company.

Constant complaining is draining on even the best of relationships. No one wants to be around a constantly complaining person.

Alternatives to Complaining

Take a step back from the situation. Ask yourself, what you can  do to help the situation. How can you be part of the solution, instead of the problem?

Realize you cannot control everything. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you are constantly trying to control people and situations. This is not your job!

View your situation as an opportunity to build your character. Ask yourself what you can learn from it.

Contemplate your blessings, instead of focusing on the negative. We are abundantly blessed. Why focus on what is going wrong?   It is hard to be miserable when you realize how blessed you really are.

 

Realize it is one thing to confide in a friend when seeking advise for a problem you may face, and quite another to complain about our situations. If you are not taking personal responsibility and seeking steps that you can do to improve the situation, chances are you are complaining.

 

 

Think back to a time you faced something that stressed you out. How did you handle the situation? Did you complain, or did you seek solution? How did your reaction make you feel?

 

 

 

 

 

Steps To A Clutter Free Home

Have you ever looked around your home and wonder where  all the stuff come from?  I have! I’ve also thought about all the time and energy it takes to keep it cleaned and organized and the money I wasted on it!

They seemed like a good deal at the time but the contentment   is short lived. The cute shoes that we on sale aren’t as cute strewn by the door.  The legos you got for the kids lose appeal as you step on another one in your bare feet for the third time in one week.

 

 

Here is a process that will help you win the battle of clutter and keep it under control for good!

 

THE PROCESS

Take an Inventory

  You are literally going to have to go through your belongings and decide what you are going to keep and what you are getting rid of.  Be ruthless about it, the more stuff you keep, the more you have to maintain.

Get rid of those things that you are not using, they are cluttering your space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, chances are you are not going to need it.

Purge yourself of things that you have duplicates of.  Figure out what quantity you actually need and get rid of the rest. For example, how many jeans do you need? Or how many towels? We tend to accumulate large quantities of certain thing.  Be realistic and only keep what you need.

You may also run across some sentimental items, you will have to use your discretion for this. Be realistic about it, if you are going to regret getting rid of an item that is sentimental and cannot be replaced, its better to hold on to it a little longer.  Just remember its the memory that is bringing you joy, not the item.

Go  through this process until you have completed each room. Some people decide to complete this step in a day, some in a weekend or a month.   Personally, I find it easiest to go through the whole house in a day and repeat the process in a week or two if needed.

 

Decide What to Do With Items That Must Go

As you are going through this process and have identified the items you will be parting with and sort them into three piles: Donate, Sell, and Trash (for items that are no longer usable.

Donate – Consider donating your items to charity. Local animal shelters are usually always looking for towels and blankets. Call them to find out. Some charities have local drop off locations and some will even pick your items up curbside.

Another option for donating is to people you know personally that can benefit from your items. Let someone else enjoy it for awhile.

Sell –  Sell some of your items to recoup some of your hard earned cash.

  • Have a yard sale
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Ebay
  • Take your items to a consignment shop
  • Rent space at a flea market

 Organize Kept Items

Everything you keep should have its own place.  You should be down to only the items you use and love.  Further purge if you are finding this is not the case.  You are going to continue to have clutter if you continue to keep stuff you don’t have a place for.

 Clean Your New Found Space

Once you have finished the process of purging and organizing you should find you have much more open space than previously.  Clean thoroughly, it will be much easier without the clutter.

 

After Decluttering

Implement A System to Prevent Future Clutter

You are going to have to implement a system to prevent this from happening aging. Your future self will thank you for it.  It could be something as simple as making a rule that prohibits bringing an item in without sending one out.  Really think about your purchases. Do you really need it? Can you do without it?

Lastly, find fun and creative ways to spend your free time other than shopping. These are the things that make memories!

 

 

Cherish each other, not things!

Please share any tips or methods you have tried by commenting below. I would love to hear from you!

Please Don’t Call Me A Housewife!

 

 

Housewife and Homemaker…..

These terms are often used interchangeably when referring to someone whose main occupation is overseeing the care and maintenance of their household. The question is do they really have the same meaning?

I submit to you that while technically they refer to the same thing, they actually have different meaning. Let’s examine…

 

House is defined as as a building designed for human habitation.  That’s it, just a dwelling nothing more.  A rather sterile and institutional term.  However, the word home has a much more personal meaning. It is a place where one feels comfortable or identifies with.  It is a place that one claims as their own or is near and dear to their heart.  A home is what a house aspires to be.

We can get a further insight into this by how people express things. They don’t exclaim, “I’m going to my house”,  instead they say “I’m going home”.

Other expressions that further emphasize this are:

  1. Home is where the heart is.
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. There is no place like home,
  4. I feel at home.
  5. Make yourself at home

I feel the term homemaker would be a better title for my occupation. I am not merely a married women who works at her house, I am one who devotes her time making her house a home.  I strive to making my house a place where my family is comfortable and desires to be. This term truly encompasses the roles and duties of my job.

So by all means please call me a Homemaker, as I feel that it more accurately defines the roles and responsibilities of my position!